Monday, April 6

ASU disappointed in Block, plans to push UCLA to address all demands

Afrikan Student Union members said they are disappointed that UCLA administration only addressed about half their demands to solve issues of racial inequality. (Daniel Alcazar/Bruin senior staff)

Afrikan Student Union members said they are disappointed the UCLA administration only addressed about half their demands to solve issues of racial inequality on campus.

Chancellor Gene Block announced Friday UCLA administrators will hire an officer to increase outreach and recruitment of black students, and develop more robust anti-discrimination policies. The administration will also create a student advisory group to collaborate with Jerry Kang, the vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion, and reconceptualize Rieber Hall’s Afrikan Diaspora Floor, among other actions.

ASU presented the UCLA administration with a list of 10 demands to tackle racial inequality on campus in response to the “Kanye Western” themed party held by the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority in October.

The administration is also looking to hire discrimination prevention officers and implement the new diversity requirement in the College of Letters and Science, according to Block’s email. Earlier this fall, administrators instituted a mandatory training for all members of faculty search committees to promote fair and equitable hiring processes.

ASU Chairperson Janay Williams said the student group is upset Block only responded to six of 10 demands the group presented in October. She added she thinks it is unfair of the administration to address only a subset of the demands.

“It’s not a multiple-choice test where you can choose (which demands to address),” she said.

ASU Event Coordinator Alicia Frison said in a Facebook post she is optimistic toward the actions Block said he will pursue, but that six responses to 10 demands is not enough and she intends to hold him to his promises.

The administration did not respond to demands to create a task force comprised of black alumni, students and staff, establish a UCLA Afro-house as a space for students to gather off-campus, have annual funding for student programming and a $30 million endowment to financially support black students or commit to hiring more black faculty.

Williams said ASU plans to push administrators to address its other demands.

Compiled by Keshav Tadimeti, Bruin contributor.

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